Five Things You May Not Know About The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority

  1. In November 2000, The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) was created by voters in seven jurisdictions within the Roaring Fork Valley. Its predecessor, the Roaring Fork Transit Agency, was created in 1993 by means of an Intergovernmental Agreement between the City of Aspen and Pitkin County, who merged their separate transit systems in order to achieve economies of scale.
  2. The initial members of RFTA included the communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Pitkin County, Basalt, a portion of Eagle County in the Roaring Fork Valley, Carbondale, and Glenwood Springs. In 2005, residents of the Town of New Castle voted to join RFTA.  RFTA is primarily funded by dedicated sales taxes levied in each of its member that were approved by voters.
  3. RFTA has approximately 280 FTE’s and a $30 million operating budget. RFTA transported approximately 4.9 million passengers annually and operates approximately 5 million miles of service.  RFTA has a fleet of 100 diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, and Compressed Natural Gas buses.
  4. RFTA has received numerous awards, including the “Best Mass Transit System of North America” by Mass Transit Magazine, the best “Large Transit Agency of the Year” from Colorado Association of Transit Agencies.  In 2012, RFTA received the White House Champions of Change Transportation Innovator Award and, in 2014, RFTA received the Federal Transit Administrator’s Outstanding Public Service Award.  Also, in 2014, RFTA received a SHIFT Sustainability Award.
  5. RFTA is the second biggest transit system in Colorado, the largest rural transit system in the U.S., and the first rural transit agency to construct and operate a Bus Rapid Transit system. VelociRFTA BRT began operation in September 2013.  In 2014, in its first full year of operation, VelociRFTA transported 827,000 passengers.